The Skulls (2000)

In the prestigious college of Yale there exists an actual club known as the Skulls and Crossbones which is now the basis for a teenybopper thriller. Don’t say Yale never paid its debt toward society.

The Skulls are the campus country club, the boy’s only tree house, the velvet rope of the Ivy League. When most go on father/son picnics the Skulls posture about and brood in Gothic castles with large words melded to larger walls. So sunshine and proper education be damned. They posses a long list of alumni, including Craig T. Nelson and a senator who appears driving around on campus so much you’d think he’s scouting girls.

Enter WB heartthrob Joshua Jackson who wishes to join the elite boy scout troupe. Who wouldn’t with the cars they hand out at you? Sadly the only black guy in the film, and probably the Ivy League for that matter (not a comment on racial intelligence) -who of course happens to be Jackson’s friend- gets killed. Jackson starts having second thoughts on joining the overzealous organization. The rest of the flick is Jackson’s quest to bring down the Skulls which somehow coincides with a lot of silly car chases. You think the Skulls could afford a car that could outrun a Dawson’s Creek kid.

The Skulls have bigger problems at hand than Joshua Jackson. Anyone with basic knowledge of turning a doorknob could break into this security behemoth. And what kind of working secret society is it when everyone on campus knows all about your organization? Doesn’t this defy the meaning of “secret”? Usually a secret is better kept without large Skull banners, let alone Skull insignia branded onto members’ flesh. You won’t be fooling any people about being a member of the Skulls with a huge skull branding singed on your damn arm in plain sight! There is so much Skull merchandise I figured there would be a Skulls home pregnancy test and some items endorsed by ad-man Michael Jordan. The reach the members of the Skulls posses defies logical thinking. Turns out these groups of angsty kids are more powerful than the CIA, FBI, KGB, and KFC combined. Must be their self-imposed lock on Clearasil and the WB’s Wednesday lineup.

The Skulls is teeny camp portrayed at its venerable worst. It starts to enter the so-bad-it’s-good range but then you remember easily again that it is bad. Why do I have the feeling the actors involved in this will be signing their Skulls checks under false names? Too bad you can’t be anonymous with a damn Skull branding on your wrist.

Nate’s Grade: D

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on April 12, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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